Linguistical Pitfalls in Persuasion (but, try, if, might)
“Linguistics is arguably the most hotly contested property in the academic realm. It is soaked with the blood of poets, theologians, philosophers, philologists, psychologists, biologists, anthropologists, and neurologists, along with whatever blood can be got out of grammarians.” – Russ Rymer
What is it that has all these academics drawing blood?
The concept is funny. I envision gangs of scholars in tweed jackets and khaki pants jabbing each other with quills and inflicting massive paper cuts on their intellectual enemies.
How could the scientific study of language incite intense animosity?
Language is powerful – derisive and divisive at the same time that it is full of potential and beauty.
We all have been told, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” And with that awareness, I’d like to explore the eight most dangerous words as applied to persuasion.
And this goes for any persuasion, especially when dealing with the affluent because you need the most consistency and confidence in your language to influence this elite group of individuals.
Every single one of these words has an exception, and feel free to explore and discover the exceptions and use them to your advantage.
Be very, very cautious, especially if you’re a beginner with these skills. In general, you should ignore these words, stay away from them, don’t use them at all. They will absolutely backfire.
Rapport is a tenuous thread when it first begins.
Persuasion, done well, starts off as a very weak force. In fact, it’s a magnetic force where you’re drawing them to you. You do that through rapport so that the affluent think you are them.
And YOU know that you’re them, and so in doing so, you’re drawing them into you. It’s a magnetic pull that’s actually taking place. But it’s tenuous, it’s weak.
If it were overwhelmingly strong, you’d be scaring your prospects off. It has to be weak to start with or you’ll scare them.
They’ll be wondering “what’s going on, why do I feel so overwhelmed instantly?” And for the most part, that won’t work too well.
So it starts off weak, and it picks up steam. Until you get there, it’s tenuous, it’s fragile.
These words that you’re going to learn right now snap the thread, they break it, and they cast doubt where none need exist. And for that reason I call them DANGEROUS words.
Each of these words can be twisted to be positive and useful, but for the most part when you’re beginning, just leave them out.
This word has very strange properties. It simply cancels everything that goes before. Whatever is said before the word but is gone, it gets canceled out.
“I like you, but…” What am I saying? I don’t like you.
“I’d like to go out with you, but…” I’m not going to go out with you.
The word but cancels everything that comes before it, every single thing, gone, destroyed, nada.
There is no such thing as try. Try doesn’t really exist. Try always presupposes failure, so you’ve tried and tried and tried and tried. You either do it, or you don’t do it. You either are or are not. You are not in the middle.
On an advanced level, I love the word try and I use it all the time.
“Try in vain to find anyone to disagree with me.”
I love try on those kinds of situations. “Can you try really hard to think of why this might not work? Can you really try? Or, does nothing seem to come to mind?”
So, hypnotically, there are lots of ways to use try to your advantage.
However, sales and persuasion is rarely one of them. You have to be careful. You must learn more about how to use this kind of language before you destroy your chances with the affluent. Look at www.persuasionfactor.com for a program on how to do just that.
If is similar to try because it presupposes “might not”. It also is a weak word. It weakens who you are and what you’re talking about.
“If you like what I’m telling you about today, maybe you’d like to see about possibly, you know, signing up.”
Doesn’t sound too confident, too reassuring, too convincing, does it?
If is a weak, weasley little word. It doesn’t support self-confidence, doesn’t support you having a strong intention. It gives people an out, it gives yourself an out.
Might is a wishy-washy word.
“You know, I might be able to do it.” Well, can you or can’t you?
How many times have you heard salespeople sound really wishy-washy?
“Well, you know, if you think this would really work for you, we might consider going ahead and trying.”
It just takes away all the personal power. Watch your personal power, enhance your power every single time you can. Speak with authority and you will be respected by the affluent AND rewarded by them.
Until Next Time,
Kenrick E. Cleveland